In an interview with CNN, actor Alec Baldwin has confirmed he’ll be returning to Saturday Night Live this fall, to reprise his series of special guest cameos in character as now-President Donald Trump.
Baldwin began appearing on SNL regularly last fall, during the show’s 42nd season and in the back end of a tense election season; supposedly, longtime pal Tina Fey helped convince him to bring his apt Trump impression to the sketch show’s stage. Throughout the entire season, Baldwin appeared — mostly in the show’s cold opens — as Trump, first during sketches lampooning (among other things) his poor debate performance, and then in a series of increasingly sober sketches tracking the early days of his presidency.
Towards the end of the season, Baldwin seemed like he wanted out of the role, hinting to many media outlets that he wouldn’t be returning in the fall.
But now, the actor has confirmed he will return to SNL‘s upcoming 43rd season, though in a slightly reduced role.
“Yea[h], we’re going to fit that in. I think people have enjoyed it,” he said, of an impression that garnered at first surprised praise, and then mixed reviews as the season wore on and his enthusiasm seemed to wane.
While he didn’t directly say he won’t be in every episode, he told CNN that fans can expect “a couple celery sticks” rather than a “whole meal” out of him this season.
It makes sense that SNL would have Baldwin back, since his cameos earned so much attention — and also since the comedy world’s leading Trump impersonator, Anthony Atamanuik, is unavailable due to filming of his own Trump-centric President Show for Comedy Central.
Atamauik, who has been touring with his Trump act for years, seems to be a bit of a sore spot for Baldwin, who got into a bit of a Twitter spat with Atamanuik pal (and famed Bernie Sanders impersonator) James Adomian earlier this year.
Regardless, with Trump in the news for the foreseeable future, it’s necessary for SNL to set a game plan for coverage, and sticking with Baldwin seems like a safe bet – though they could still go with their first option (which would be pretty perfect, actually):